It turns out a trip back home was enough to right the Seattle Seahawks.
Russell Wilson threw for two touchdowns and the Seattle secondary throttled Dak Prescott on the team's way to a 24-13 victory over the Dallas Cowboys at CenturyLink Field on Sunday.
The Seahawks opened the season with a pair of one-score losses and were in danger of being three games behind the soaring Los Angeles Rams in the NFC West standings. Instead, they limited Dallas to just 137 yards through the air and held a double-digit lead throughout the second half.
Wilson threw for 192 yards on 16-of-26 passing. He's tossed at least two touchdowns in every game this season.
The Cowboys Need to Start Considering Other Options at QB
A take that sounds hot but isn't if you've been paying any attention: Dak Prescott isn't very good at football.
The Cowboys quarterback turned in yet another dud Sunday, throwing for 168 yards and a touchdown against two interceptions. His lone touchdown "pass" came on a glorified sweep play to Tavon Austin, who did all of the work to scamper three yards for the score.
We're to the point where it's fair to wonder if Prescott has the yips when it comes to throwing the ball downfield. Coming into this week, Prescott had an average of 2.94 seconds to throw the football—one of the longest pocket times in the NFL, per NFL.com. He nevertheless ranked near the bottom of the league in passing yards among starters and dumps the ball off more than most quarterbacks.
That trend continued Sunday. Prescott did not have a single pass that gained more than 20 yards. His leading receiver, tight end Geoff Swaim, caught five passes for 47 yards.
The Dallas offensive line didn't give Prescott as much help as it usually does against the Seahawks; Seattle sacked Prescott five times, and he was hit 10 different times on 39 dropbacks.
Part of this is a schematic issue. Part of it is a personnel issue. The Cowboys aren't employing the best coaching staff and have one of the worst receiving corps in the NFL.
But Prescott hasn't developed since a stellar rookie season and has regressed in a lot of aspects. The Cowboys aren't making the playoffs unless they make an improvement at the position.
It wouldn't be a terrible idea if they rung up the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to see how attached they are to Jameis Winston.
Throw Away Rashaad Penny Stock; Chris Carson Is the Guy in SEA
The Seahawks ran the ball 39 times.
Three of those carries went to first-round pick Rashaad Penny.
Thirty-two of them went to Chris Carson, who finished with 102 yards and a touchdown. At least for one week, it seems clear Carson has beaten out Penny for the lead back role and essentially become the new Marshawn Lynch.
Carson pounded the Cowboys between the tackles and churned the chains, with Wilson taking a backseat for the most part. The 2017 seventh-round pick isn't going to break many big gains. His long carry on the afternoon was 13 yards. But much like Lynch, Carson isn't going to go down on the first touch and is going to keep his legs moving until he hears a whistle.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has stressed the importance of keeping the run incorporated in their offense. Sunday made it clear the team trusts Carson—and Carson only—to be that guy.
Penny has become a handcuff in fantasy leagues.
Jason Garrett Will Be Coaching for His Job Over the Next Month
Garrett has been Teflon since taking over as the Cowboys head coach in 2011.
He's not anymore.
The Cowboys have looked listless and uninventive all season on offense, making almost no adjustments despite Prescott's clear struggles. They still have one of the league's best offensive lines and an elite running back in Ezekiel Elliott. The fact that they're not producing is probably going to cost coordinator Scott Linehan his job if it continues, and Garrett is a late-season firing candidate.
The tone for Dallas' season will be struck over the next month before its Week 8 bye. The Cowboys' next two games are against the Detroit Lions and Houston Texans, a pair of winnable contests that could get them to a respectable 3-2.
With Jacksonville coming Oct. 14 and a trip to Washington a week later, though, the Cowboys could be in danger of starting 2-5 or 1-6 if they can't string together wins against Detroit and Houston. By the time the Cowboys come out of their bye, they'll host the Tennessee Titans before two straight road games against the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons.
The worst Garrett can be at the bye is 3-4 to have a realistic chance of making the playoffs and, thus, saving his job. It should be and probably is playoffs-or-bust for him.
The Seahawks travel to Arizona to play the Cardinals next Sunday. The Cowboys host the Detroit Lions at AT&T Stadium.